The video of an Occupy Oakland protester shot by police has been made available, showing perhaps the most outrageous act of overzealous law enforcement action in the weeks since the movement began.
An unnamed protester rallying in Oakland, California last week during the city’s General Strike managed to be rolling film as he approached a gauntlet of riot gear-clad police officers lined across a city street. Filming their motionless blockage of the road, the videographer asks the cops, “Is this okay?” several times as he paces from one side of the road to the other, camera in hand.
The narrator of the footage appears peaceful and calm as he walks around 20 feet away from the police during the course of the 40 second clip in which he at no point attempts to provoke the officers. The footage is cut short, however, after a burst of light is seen exploding from the array of law enforcement followed immediately by the cameraman falling to the ground.
“Oh, ow! Ow, ow! He shot me!” cries the protester as he drops to the asphalt.
The exact projectile fired by the cops has not been identified, though the man was believed to be hit by either a beanbag or a non-lethal rubber bullet round.
Although both types of ammos are considered safe for police use, they’ve attracted outrage from protesters following an incident two weeks ago when Scott Olsen, a demonstrator and US Marine, was admitted to an Oakland hospital in critical condition after a projectile fired by police fractured his skull. A week later, fellow veteran Kayban Sabehgi says he was viciously beaten by police with a barrage of assaults from their batons. He was admitted to the same hospital as Olsen for a ruptured spleen after being detained by police for nearly a full day.
During the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement when demonstrations were still largely concentrated in Manhattan, New York Police Department Officer Anthony Bologna was filmed pepper-spraying female protesters who were netted in NYPD cops during a rally. The footage of the incident quickly went viral and spawned an investigation into the event, which eventually led to Officer Bologna being docked ten days of vacation time.